A question from a PC user

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by davudvl, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. davudvl macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    I am seriously contemplating buying a Mac. I am not a professional, but I do enjoy photography, have good camera equipment and work with RAW files. I also enjoy making home videos and slide shows and burning them on DVD. I am using Pinnacle on PC and it takes me about two hrs to make a movie, but it takes me an extra week to deal with all the bugs, crashes, etc...
    Guys, please tell me that after spending a bundle on the Mac, my problems will be gone. The system I configured is $4000 incl. tax, (without the display) while the same configuration on PC is $1900. with display.
    In the beginning I will use the imovie, idvd, and iphoto. Later on I will probably add Final Cut Pro and Aperture.
    This is the system I configured:
    Mac Pro
    Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon Processor
    Memory: 2GB (4x512MB)
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive
    ATI Radeon x1900 XT 512MB Graphics Card
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR and AirPort Extreme
    Wireless Keyboard and wireless mighty mouse
    Mac OS v10.4 operating system
    Apple care protection plan

    Is this enough, or not enough, or too much.
    Your suggestions are very appreciated, esp. those working with phtos and video.
    Thank you
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    1. Buy and Install your own hard drives.
    2. Buy and Install your own Super Drive
    3. Consider a 24" iMac unless you're VERY keen on upgrading it to death or are bringing your own monitor.
  3. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    If you don't have a display in mind, you might want to go with an iMac, as the poster above said. It's a very powerful machine still, and the 24" has way more screen real estate than I would know what to do with. If you're not looking to do any major upgrading and expanding on the way, you won't need the power and size of the Mac Pro tower.

    Also, as mentioned above, do your own upgrades. Apple will charge you WAY too much for more RAM, a bigger HD, or an extra Superdrive. If you're set on the Mac Pro, most upgrades (especially hard drives) are a breeze. They're not too complex on the other machines, either.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Hmm...looks like OWC has some good pricing Vs. Apple RAM on FB-DIMM's.

    2 x 512 MB for $299 Apple Vs. $225 OWC

    Then again I am education so $269 for me. :rolleyes:
  5. davudvl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    Will the iMac be able to handle Aperture and Final Cut?
    Is the iMac easy to upgrade by a layperson?
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    1. Yes
    2. No
  7. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    Well, it's still some savings! I just checked newegg.com, and the cheapest 500GB hard drive there is $149.99, whereas Apple wants $199 to upgrade to 500GB. You could just get the stock 250GB, and buy another 500GB drive for less, giving you 750GB total space and $50 in your pocket.

    The RAM is really easy to upgrade, there's a little cover on the bottom of the iMac that is held in by two screws. Really easy. The hard drive and such, I don't know. I'm pretty sure that's a lot harder.

    Edit: Dang, I'm a minute or two behind on all of these replies!
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Anything other then the RAM is hard. Next is the Airport Extreme but taking the LCD off is kinda scary looking.

    And yes you are behind.
  9. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    Consider this refurb for $3300

    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (4 x 512MB) memory (667MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)
    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics with 512MB memory
    Learn More
  10. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You've picked the right machine for professional use, but can definitely save a considerable amount buying some of your upgrades third party.

    If you qualify for the educational discount, all the better.

    The timing of your purchase can also make a tremendous difference in your overall investment.

    If you need this fairly soon you may be missing out on the price drop
    once the Octa Core machines are released in a few months.

    When you're spending this kind of money, it's best to go in eyes wide open.

    The 2.66 GHz model will most likely be dropped to the entry level position
    once the Octa Core machines are released. That should end up saving you
    several hundred dollars on your purchase.
  11. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    get the 24" iMac
    2.33 processor
    2GB RAM
    either stock 250 or 500HDD
    and the 7600GT 256MB video card
    with Wireless KB & MM

    Then you could get a couple Firewire 800 drive cases and throw some 320, 400 or 500 drives in them for video and RAW data.

    That said the Mac Pro will render and process video faster as well as compile and burn it faster. It really all depends on how much video you plan to do. But it won't be that much faster than the iMac. And if you are thinking about going the Mac Pro route, either get a refurb since everything is upgradable, you might as well save on the base unit, or wait until the next Mac Pro revision which is rumored to be due soon.
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Right now the biggest hold-up is waiting for Adobe to release CS3 Universal Binary.

    If you already have a licensed Windows copy of CS2, you can either run your Windows version or have Adobe transfer your license to Mac OS X.

    The CS3 UB upgrade will probably cost several hundred dollars, but will be well worth it in added performance.

    The iMacs are definitely pro worthy, but the performance, storage and expandability of the Mac Pro tower is much better suited for full time professional workflow.

    Much of your decision depends on how much income you'll be generating from your business.
  13. kadajawi macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2006
    If you're going to get the Mac Pro, get it with 160 GB HD. For the savings you can get another 250 GB HD, so you have 410 GB for the price that Apple charges for 250 GB.

    You should use Photoshop though... iPhoto is nice, but it is very basic. Very, very, VERY basic. Like you can adjust contrast, brightness, sharpen up photos and do some basic color corrections. That's pretty much all.
  14. jpcos macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2006
    I purchased the 24" iMac a few weeks ago, and it is a truly powerful machine with an excellent display.

    You can bump up the iMac's RAM, video, and hard drive and include Aperture in the purchase for about $3,000.

    That machine will be more than suitable for your purposes. If you're in to shooting RAW, getting Aperture right away will make your purchase much more enjoyable and useful.
  15. Gamey macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Whilst I don't do any video editing, I do a lot of RAW photo processing.
    I take around 2,000 photos /week at various events on, some are taken with an 8mp camera and others with a 16mp one.
    I use Aperture to catalogue and convert these shots for web galleries etc.
    I can get through all my shots in an evening and have 3-400 of them uploaded on to my website.
    I did this for a few years using very high spec home built PCs, but when Aperture came out I decided to make the switch to Macs.
    I started off using a G4 Powerbook, but soon found out that a little more processing power was needed if I was going to be even remotely happy with the performance.
    I did a lot of researching, and played about with a lot of G5 Power Macs and Intel based ProMacs too. Ideally I would have bought a Quad 3Ghz pro mac loaded with 16gig of RAM, but I can't afford it and don't think I could justify the price even if I could afford it.
    I opted for a 2.16ghz 24" iMac loaded with 3gig of RAM and opted for the 9600 graphics card. It's plenty quick enough, and is a lot more stable than my PC set-up was.

    If you have a very high need for the Pro Macs performance I would say go for it, but if your photo editing, video editing etc is less than full-on I'd say the iMac wouldn't let you down, you could even spend the extra $ you save on a MacBook

  16. davudvl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    Thank you for all your replies.
    I will look into the iMac.
    Also waiting for the new Quad machine is an option, and buy the MacPro once the price drops. The only thing is then I may be tempted by the new Quad. Mac.

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